I had been following the resignation of Alan Cash with very insightful contributions from members of brainstorming-Ghana Google groups network. However, though I am not a politician or political scientist and taking from my background, I will be discussing the issues and not the personalities. This new development requires answers to serious question vis-a-vis its implications for Ghana politics and national development.
Being first runner-up to NPP presidential candidate indicates Alan has a large following and has an influential position in the party. However, breaking away from the party is not good news for the party nor the country, though it may be good for him personally. There is a common saying that 'unity is strength. So for a political institution to be split is a sign of another deep routed divisions within our society and if not handled with care could have serious consequences come December 2008 elections.
Learning from the advanced multi-party democracies, a two-party election is near to a country in unity than divided. Sorting out differences requires great courage and understanding of each sides. This has been one of the major causes of conflicts within major thriving democracies in recent times (e.g. Kenya, Zimbabwe and guess who is next). Ghana is more than matured and experienced to go through such conflicts.
Some may ask:
Will Alan form his own political party or run independently?
Will he join the another party who he shares common ideas?
What are the implications for national development?
Unfortunately most people vote on issues of personality, ethnicity, language, and religion in this part of the world ( as discussed by Baba, Mic and Bossman in a earlier post - titled 'vice presidential candidates') . Mr. Alan returning to join the NPP would be good news for the country provided he is given an influential position within the party. But would he be given any position with this kind of split? Linking with another party would be welcome news for Ghanaians but will he be welcome at the other side? These issues have development implications for the country and what civil society organizations (CSOs), charities and NGOs should be doing to prevent post election violence.
So the questions are
What are the causes of post election violence?
How can post election violence be prevented?
What role can Charities, NGOs and CSOs do to fill this gap?
The debate continues.